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Medical Pros and Insurance Folk Need to See My Skin’s On Fire
from Mitch R.

I have had the privilege of see My Skin's On Fire twice now. Once at the world premiere at Tribeca Film Center in New York and once at a private party in San Francisco with many of the people who were highlighted in the film. It is a very powerful film about the human side of dealing with both psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. I had the opportunity of being interviewed by Fred Finkelstein [producer, writer, director] for the film and have about three seconds of footage pleading for funding in Senator Lautenberg's office.

I tend to agree with you that this film is not for those who have recently been diagnosed with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. A newly informed patient has way too much to deal with to be hit with such a brutally honest portrayal of what this disease may evolve too. I think there is a time for it to be viewed by all, but a doctor should by no means pop it into a DVD player and say “Watch!” to a newly diagnosed patient!

The one group of people I think who really need to see this film is medical students, doctors and their staff, and the medical insurance people who routinely deny or approve doctor prescribed medications. All too often psoriasis is thought of as a cosmetic disease and many in the medical field tend to dismiss the effects this disease has on the mental state of their patients. 

This is an important film. For the first time it puts a human face on what it is like to live with moderate to serve psoriasis. It pulls no punches!  Kudos to Genentech who funded the film. It was devoid of commercial content and they gave Fred more or less free rein to tell his story as he wanted. I know this film has many applications and will help spread the awareness of life with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Love your site. Keep up the good work. -Mitch R.


Ed’s Response:  I’m glad you said this, Mitch, as it didn’t occur to me to mention medical and insurance professionals in my note about the film in the November ’05 Briefing.  You bet your life it’s an ideal film for those folks to see.  There are countless stories here at FlakeHQ (some my own) about flakers running into medical professionals who don’t have a clue.  Nurses, techs, doctors — even some dermatologists!  I think the interviewees are more candid in this film than they can be with doctors and insurance people.  Over and over again in My Skin’s On Fire we see the pain — in all its manifestations — on the faces of the afflicted.  It’s not at all like reading a doctor’s notes in someone’s medical file!

How can we help see that this happens — help see that the medical and health insurance professionals are exposed to this film?  It’s not going to be easy because, at just a tad over one hour, watching the whole film is a significant commitment of time.  Here are some ideas…

  • Get a copy into your own derm’s hands and discuss how it might be further distributed to other derms
  • Speak to the head teaching dermatologist at medical schools near you and ask that the film be considered for in-class viewing (and, of course, leave a copy)
  • Talk to your insurance company; find out who makes decisions about coverage for P treatments; secure a name/address and mail the DVD with a letter asking that the film be seen by those who make eligibility decisions.

I’m making a personal commitment to contact Genentech about additional copies of the DVD for just these purposes.  I’ll add an “Alert” on the front page of FlakeHQ to let folks know what I learn.

Thanks again, Mitch.  You introduced what I think can be an extremely potent campaign using Fred’s remarkable film.  -Ed

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